Essay by:
Whitney M. Burrows
Emporia State University

As of last month America has racked up a bill of $11 trillion dollars. A child just recently born instantly has a tab of $184,000. How can a person who has never even see daylight have a debt of $184, 000? As Americans we must find a solution to this debt that we have acquired. This is not something that can be fixed overnight nor is it something that people should be fighting about. We must come together and find solutions as a one nation not divided.

I feel that the best way for America to get out of this huge debt is to not look up to the government first, but to look in the mirror first. We must take responsibility for ourselves individually first to make an impact. In order to even understand the impact of this $11 trillion dollar amount owed, we need to become educated. That is the first step towards fixing the national debt. Each individual needs to find valid resources and research what is going on. People need to start reading, listening, and learning about the national debt. Obviously things around us are changing. The economy is not in such a great place right now and we must learn why and how this happened. People also need to know how it affects them and how it will affect their children and their children’s children.

The next thing that people need to do in order to face up to the national debt is to once again look in the mirror. Take a good hard look, are you surrounded in your own debt? Are there bills that are not getting paid and credit cards that are maxing out? If so, then we need to fix this problem! How can we get out of debt on a national level when we can’t even get out of debt on our own level? Americans must stop spending money that they don’t have. We must start to really think about our needs and not our wants. I know how easy it is to want to put those $80 sneakers on the charge card, but we need to ask ourselves, “Do I really need those”. Personally right now my answer would be no. For some people who are used to just running the card through the machine, this will be hard. But remember if we can get out of our own debt than maybe the entire nation will have a chance. We must relearn how to save, save, save. Learning how to save our money and pay off our debts is the right thing to do. We must take responsibility for ourselves and make the changes that will eventually better our children and children’s children.

The last step that we can do to make a difference is to educate and encourage others. Once individuals have a strong idea of what is happening with the national debt and what they can do to help fix this problem they need to use their voice and educate others. People need to know that there is a debt of $11 trillion and that if we don’t find ways to fix and decrease this debt that there will be serious problems in our future. Once people have become educated and have put into practice paying off their own debts and have started saving money then they need to take this next step. People need to educate everyone they can. Americans must reach out to their neighbors, family, friends, and even strangers about this topic. Once you get people intrigued about this national issue lead them into making the right decisions as you have. Help them find ways they can learn and become educated about this topic. Share with them the resources that you found most helpful when you were researching about the national debt. Then once they have a good understanding about what is going on outside their front door, have them take the next step to fix their own personal debts. Share with them how you did it. Leading by example is the best way to encourage people to make changes in their lives. Once people make these personal changes and clearing their name of any debt they owed, they can take the next step just as you did and find other people to become involved. If people can continue this cycle we would be much better off.

If everyone would take responsibility and face up to their own debt we could make a huge difference. Maybe then our children and our children’s children will not have to worry about this rising $11trillion dollar issue at hand. Americans must take action now and help fix the national debt by fixing their own personal debts. So instead of talking about the weather, talk about the $11 trillion debt that America is facing. We need to take face up and take responsibility for ourselves first before anything can be done nationally.




Re: Look in the Mirror First

Whitney,

I like the figures that you provided. It’s unbelievable to recognize that a new-born would have a tab of $184,000. I like that you distinguish that we need to work together as a nation. I think that this would be the most functional solution.

-Amber Vanderhofe


Re: Look in the Mirror First

Great essay. I agree that we all need to try to do something to help decrease the debt, we can't just rely on the government.

Katie McClain


Re: Look in the Mirror First

I liked the stat about a newborn child. I agree with this essay. People need to take responsibility. Very good essay, I really enjoyed reading it.
-Taylor Raleigh


Re: Look in the Mirror First

Whitney,

I never thought of a child having such a big tab as soon as he/she comes into this world! Nice thought!

Education I believe is one of the most important aspects, as well as being aware of the deficit problem and trying to actively control and reduce it. Patience is key.

I enjoyed it, Whitney! Awesome job!

-Ryan Wilson


Re: Look in the Mirror First

Whitney-
You could not be more right, I completely agree we all need to "look in the mirror" as a first step to correcting the national debt problem. The numbers you provided in the beginning should be instant wake up call to everyone! I liked all the points you made throughout out your essay, they were reasonable, down to earth, and common sense things that people just dont seem to think about. Overall great essay, I really enjoyed it!
-Stacy Beardslee


Re: Look in the Mirror First

Well done! Your points about taking responsibility for our own actions is so accurate. People really do need to look at what they spend and decide if it is really needed. I hate the idea of being in debt; I don't even like taking out a student loan. Your essay is well written and well organized!


Re: Look in the Mirror First

Great essay!! I really think that what ideas you raised are very important to our economy and fixing it.
Leslie Parker


Re: Look in the Mirror First

Whitney, you really dug deep into the issue. Your ideas are brillant and well voiced. Thanks for sharing.


Re: Look in the Mirror First

Whitney,
Great job on your essay! I really liked how you said that instead of looking straight to the government to blame and fix our financial trouble, people should look at themselves first and see how they are contributing to this rising debt. Many people blow off the topic of our nation's debt and continue to spend, spend, and over spend. I agree that change can start by helping yourself fix your own financial problems first and then helping educate others.
-Jodi Herman


Re: Look in the Mirror First

I couldn't agree more with you. If people would take action and not wait around to be told by "higher officials" how to solve their problems; then I truely believe America would improve much quicker. Your stats and straight up view points made your essay grasp my attention throughout.
-Ashley McCullough


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